Gameweek 36+ Preview
Written by @NiallHawthorne
It’s so hard to make sense of the world these days. We’ve all had our lives tipped upside down by a global pandemic. Britain is Brexiting. America is burning. Michail Antonio is scoring more points on his own than my whole team this GW, and just when you think that Jamie Vardy and friends are about to run riot against a Bournemouth side I’ve openly slated in recent weeks, they go and get humped in the second half.
What’s coming next? Joelinton hat-trick? Crystal Palace to turn over Manchester United? The Court of Arbitration for Sport telling Man City that it’s ok that their training ground bibs are sponsored for three gazillion pounds by Mr. Q. Atar? Who knows?
What? I’m supposed to? Oh, right….
GW36+ Defender: Seamus Coleman, Everton
You’re the captain of a side that patently didn’t turn up last time out, and in front of the whole world you call your teammates out, tell them they were bobbins, and demand an improvement.
It’s a bold move, and can only really be effective if you front up first, so over to you Mr. Seamus Coleman. A home game against a Villa side desperate for the points is an intriguing game, as you know one team is going to be bang up for it, so Coleman and Ancelotti need to ensure that the Toffees are harder to chew this week.
Looking at this factually, Villa aren’t exactly prolific in front of goal, and two goals against a side containing Mamadou ‘Bambi On Ice’ Sakho doesn’t really change that. Coleman needs to lead by example, and I see a reaction coming with a clean sheet and quite possibly an attacking return.
GW36+ Midfielder: Christian Pulisic, Chelsea
Since the restart, the Canaries have stunk out the place so badly that they’ve officially gassed themselves out of the Premier League mineshaft.
Chelsea face Norwich at Stamford Bridge knowing that a win is an absolute must. Thanks to CAS, fifth place is no longer a Champions League spot, so you have Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United scrambling for two chairs in a high-stakes European Top Table musical chairs contest.
Fresh from his first blank since the restart, I’m backing Pulisic to fill his boots against the worst team and worst defence in the league.
GW36+ Forward: Danny Ings, Southampton
On Thursday evening we have the ‘El Coast-ico’ derby as Southampton host both Brighton and Hove Albion, who have shamelessly continued to play a combined ‘Best XI’ of the two teams, unpunished by the authorities. The game’s gone.
In any case, Danny Ings has personal glory in his sights. At time of typing (before he faces Manchester United this evening), Ings is four goals behind Jamie Vardy. Between now and the end of the season, he’s going to shoot, and he’s going to shoot a lot. Which means he’ll score a few.
GW36+ Captain: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City
Manchester City at home to Bournemouth? Oooh, yes please.
All we need to do is work out who Pep is going to pick, as usual. KDB has only completed the full 90 minutes in one of the last three fixtures, so I’m guessing that he starts.
Logic suggests that this City side could do serious damage to a Bournemouth side probably without Nathan Ake. City have scored an outrageous 23 goals in 7 matches since the restart.
Cue a 1-0 Bournemouth miracle.
GW36+ Outsider: Jay Rodriguez, Burnley
Burnley have scored five goals in their last six matches, and have picked up 11 points.
Jay ‘Jay’ Rodriguez has had a hand in four of them, with three scored and an assist.
This level of efficiency means that Sean Dyche should be placed in charge of the COVID-19 response and we’ll all be licking each other’s door handles with gay abandon by Sunday.
Written by Niall Hawthorne.
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